After a week of fairly average beer in Verona and around Lake Garda I couldn’t wait to get to Venice.
I’d spent a reasonable amount of time researching the best craft beer spots in the city. It wasn’t as easy as I expected, but I came up with a pretty good list of places to visit.
Unfortunately, a change in plans meant my visit ended up being on a Sunday. I was disappointed to find lots of places don’t open on Sundays, including most of the pubs and bars I’d picked out.
To make matters worse, the ‘Red Bear Pub’ at the top of my list wasn’t only closed on Sunday’s but for the entire month of August.
Thankfully there was one place open, and what a place. Il Santo Bevitore basically saved the day.
It may look like a fairly regular pub from the outside, but inside is quite literally craft beer heaven.
And not just the 15 or so taps serving a great range of quality beer from Italy, Belgium, America and beyond. The whole place is decorated in amazing beer memorabilia and the staff are all very knowledgable and enthusiastic.
The fridge was similarly well stocked with more Italian beers, Belgian classics and even our very own Buxton Brewery.
Though I was unlucky that so many places were closed, I was incredibly lucky that the weather was simply stunning.
We ended up sitting outside Il Santo Bevitore for several hours, soaking up the sun, taking in the wonderful views and enjoying some really great beers.
Highlights included ‘Nigredo’, a great black IPA from Birrificio Italiano and particularly Toccalmatto’s ‘Zona Cesarini’.
The gorgeous, unique IPA was unlike any beer I’ve ever had before. Super fruity with loads of tropical flavours but then a dry and grassy finish. Easily the best beer I drank in Italy and a contender for beer of the year.
After working through most of the impressive draught list, we made a start on the fantastic range of bottles.
Since we ended up staying so long it was fortunate that they have plenty of food available too.
From regular beer snacks like crisps and nuts to a variety of interesting ‘cichetti’ dishes.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was eating most of the time but it all tasted good and they cost just one euro each.
It’s fair to say that Il Santo Bevitore saved my trip to Venice.
Whilst I loved everything else about the city, I’d have been devastated to leave without a single decent beer.
It’s a shame I didn’t get to visit the other places on my list as Da Aldo and particularly Red Bear Pub sound brilliant too.
But in a way I’m sort of glad, as it gave me longer to enjoy Il Santo properly. I’ll definitely be back next time I’m in Venice; it probably won’t be on a Sunday though.
Date of visit: 30.08.2015Follow @BeerGeekBlog Follow @FoodGeekUK